HASTAC II: Techno-Travels (2008)


The Second International HASTAC Conference
May 22-24, 2008
Organized by HASTAC leaders at the University of California Humanities
Research Institute (UCHRI); University of California, Irvine; and the University of California, Los Angeles
Irvine and Los Angeles, California


HASTAC's second annual international conference, with a theme of "techno-travels," sought to examine the multiple ways in which place, movement, borders, and identities are being renegotiated and remapped by new locative technologies. Featured projects delved into mobility as a modality of knowledge and staked out new spaces for humanistic inquiry. Participants explored such questions as: how are border-crossings being experienced and narrated amidst mobile technologies? How are digital spaces interfacing with physical ones, and how do we move between them? And what has become of stasis and geographical identity in a world saturated by techno-travels?

The conference literalized and metaphorized travel, as over one hundred attendees participated in sessions at Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and on the connecting corridors of Southern California.


Webcasts of the conference events will be added soon.


Jump to: Howard Rheingold's Keynote :: Brenda Laurel's Provocation :: Talks and Demos (Session 1) :: Richard Marciano and David Goldberg's Presentation :: Curtis Wong's Keynote :: Talks and Demos (Session 2) :: Project Demos, Poster Sessions, and Lightning Talks :: 'Future of Learning' Plenary Session





Thursday, May 22


6:15 - 7:30 PM Reception


7:30 - 9:00 PM Keynote Address: Howard Rheingold, UC Berkeley and Stanford University
"Literacies, Collective Actions, Participatory Media"

Howard Rheingold, "Literacies, Collective Action, Participatory Media"BIO: Credited with coining the term "virtual community", Howard Rheingold has been active in the digital community for more than two decades. Originally interested in the powers of the human mind, he entered into the world of technology exploring the concept of computers as mind-amplifiers, an interest that lead him to write Tools for Thought (1984). In 1985, he joined the WELL, an early online conference community, an experience he explored in The Virtual Community (1993/2000). He also served as the editor of The Whole Earth Review, was the Executive Editor of "HotWired," the first commercial web magazine, and founded Electric Minds, a website intended to promote online communities. Other works of his include Virtual Reality (1991), and Smart Mobs (2002), which has an associated website and blog. He currently teaches Participatory Media/Collective Action at UC Berkeley's School of Information, Digital Journalism at Stanford University, is a non-resident Fellow of the Annenberg School for Communication, and is a visiting Professor at the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK.

Howard Rheingold, "Literacies, Collective Action, Participatory Media"

You can see his painted shoes, if you like.

Information taken from Howard Rheingold's bio available from his website.


TALK: Rheingold discussed interdisciplinary theories of cooperation in the context of modern technology. Here is a longer screencast of a similar presentation on cooperation theory.


9:00 - 10:00 PM Reception Continued: Dessert and Wine


Friday, May 23


8:00 - 9:00 AM Light Breakfast and Coffee


9:00 - 9:30 AM Provocation: Brenda Laurel, California College of the Arts
"Crossing Boundaries Without Hurting Yourself"

Brenda Laurel, California College of the Arts BIO: Brenda Laurel is a designer, researcher, and writer, and performer. Since 1976, her work has focused on interactive narrative, human-computer interaction, and cultural aspects of technology. She was a founding member of the research staff at Interval Research Corporation, where she coordinated research activities exploring gender and technology, and where she co-produced and directed the Placeholder Virtual Reality project. She was also one of the founders of Purple Moon,formed to market products based on this research (acquired by Mattel in 1999). In 1990 she co-founded Telepresence Research, Inc. to develop virtual reality and remote presence technology and applications. Brenda has worked as a software designer, producer, and researcher for companies including Atari, Activision, and Apple. She also served as Chair of the graduate Media Design Program at the Art Center College of Design and worked as a Senior Director and Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Labs. She edited The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design (1990) and is the author of Computers as Theatre (1991/1993) and Utopian Entrepreneur (2001). Her newest book is Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (2004). In addition to speaking and consulting, Brenda currently serves as Chair of the Graduate Program in Design at California College of the Arts.

Her complete publications and positions are listed in her resume, available on her website along with additional information on her work, various writings, and more.

Taken, with permitted edits, from Brenda Laurel's bio.


TALK: Her list of ten heuristics to achieve "Crossing Boundaries Without Hurting Yourself", as re-blogged by Cathy Davidson on her Cat in the Stack HASTAC blog was:

1. Scream and leap (when you see something that blows your mind)

2. Enjoy the ride Techno-Interactions, HASTAC 08

3. Always deal with your resistance

4. Notice the potential that others notice in you (she learned this one, she said, from Howard Rheingold, another keynoter at the conference)

5. Notice similar patterns as they emerge

6. Make structural inversions (Making the technology is not the issue--it's about having a story to tell)

7. Ask the right question

8. Challenge your challenges

9. Manifest your imagination

10. Remember who you are. (Do it, don't just point at it!)


9:30 - 11:15 AM Talks and Demos ran concurrently in multiple locations



Noah Wardrip-Fruin10:00 AM Noah Wardrip-Fruin, UC San Diego

"Expressive Processing: An Experiment in Blog-Based Peer Review"


10:15 AM Tom Boellstorff, UC Irvine

"Creationist Capitalism"


10:30 AM Brian Goldfarb, UC San Diego

"Global Tourette"


10:45 AM Eric Kabisch, UC Irvine (repeated during the Saturday, May 24 Lightning Talks)



Patrick Jagoda's live-blog explaining the lightning talks



Bill Tomlinson, UC Irvine
"Human-Mediated Networking"

Bill Tomlinson, UC Irvine, "Human-Mediated Networking"The rise of personal computers and mobile phones is having an enormous environmental impact as devices are produced and eventually discarded. The Human Mediated Networking project demonstrates one possible way to reduce redundancy in computational systems by using human effort to help computers share functionality. In this installation, monitors arrayed around a space are able to display locally sensed data, such as ambient sound and network strength. But these computers have no sensors-they only know the values to display because people carrying a shared sensor visit them. By enabling these devices to share sensing capabilities, we can reduce the number of redundant components in mobile devices, allowing them to become smaller, cheaper, and more sustainable.

More about Bill Tomlinson and his research interests.


Walt Scacchi, Robert Nideffer, Alex Szeto, Craig Brown, UC Irvine
"Emerging Visions of Virtual Worlds"

They presented two demonstrations of possible virtual worlds (VWs) that may arise in the next few years. One focused on envisioning movement through a virtual dating scenario in a simulated VW in order to help surface emerging cultural and technological requirements for future VWs. The other focused on exploring alternative depictions of complex multi-person work arrangements in remote advanced manufacturing settings that can serve as both a work practices simulator and training environment, built as a computer game mod.


John Crawford, UC Irvine
"Dance-IT (Dance & Information Technology): A Networked Participatory Media Exhibit"

Dance-IT (Dance & Information Technology) is proposed as a networked participatory media exhibit. Diverse participants engage in a physical dialogue linking people between different places and across different times through embodied interaction. Participants influence and respond to the behaviors of pre-recorded digital media content. Their movement choices become a permanent part of the exhibition and contribute to an evolving online presence.

Conference flyer for the Dance-IT Presentation with images and more information

More information about John Crawford, available on his website


Byeong Sam Jeon, "Telematic Drum Circle"Byeong Sam Jeon, Electronic Artist
"Telematic Drum Circle"

"Telematic Drum Circle is an interdisciplinary art project which combines Tele-Robotics, Computer Science, Pneumatics and Music. The project explores the rupture of deeper communication in the technology meditated world, and addresses the issue of global harmony by sharing participants' rhythmical spirit produced through the telematic live drum ensemble. It consists of two main components: a set of sixteen robotic drums arranged in an installation space and an interactive website networked with these drums. Each drum is representative of a geo-cultural region. Regardless of age, sex, religion, race, and culture, we all have a universal rhythm which is a heartbeat. The drum is an instrument of rhythm, and I believe it can stand in for a person's heart. The heart to heart communication expressed on drums cuts through all the differences, and blurs the boundaries. By tapping the computer keyboard while at the website, participants around the world can remotely play the robotic instruments together, while watching a live streaming video of their ensemble broadcast through the website."

-Artist Byeong Sam Jeon describing his interactive installation on its website

Artist's website

Fantastic YouTube video explaining and demonstrating the Telematic Drum Circle


HIPerWall Demo #1: "Cultural Analytics," presented by Software Studies Initiative, UCSD/Calit2

HIPerWall Demo: Cultural Analytics"HIPerWall (Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Wall) is a 200 Megapixel tiled display wall built at Calit2 (California Institute for Telecommunications and InformationTechnology) at UC Irvine. It is designed to visualize enormous data sets and allows viewers to see detail, with 100 dots per inch on the screens, while retaining the context of an overview by seeing surrounding data (also in high detail). This allows a group of scientists to collaborate, share detailed information, while still keeping the big picture. The "IP" in the name is emphasized because we build our technology on the Internet Protocol."

"HIPerwall Demo: Cultural Analytics"Taken from HIPerWall's FAQs, response to "What is HIPerWall?"Available on HIPerWall's website.

Jeremy Douglass and Lev Manovich presented a live demo showing how new mega-resolution walls such as the Calit2 HIPerWall (50 30-inch monitors with the combined resolution of 200 megapixel) can be used for research, teaching, and presentation. The demo uses presentation software developed by Jeremy Douglass (Software Studies Initiative) together with the HIPerWall team at CALIT2 - Irvine. They also presented their work on Cultural Analytics research environment designed for the analysis and interactive visualization of very large cultural data sets and intended to run on the HIPerWall. Please click here for more information about PowerWall Presenter.


Jonathan Tarr's blog and photos from the demonstration


11:15 AM -12:00 PM Presentation: Richard Marciano, SDSC and David Theo Goldberg, UCHRI
"Redlining California"

BIO: David Theo Goldberg, Ph.D., works on a variety of issues, including political theory, race and racism, ethics, law and society, critical theory, and cultural studies. Most recently, his work has focused on digital humanities, leading him to co-found HASTAC with Duke University's Cathy Davidson. Earlier in his career, he produced independent films and music videos (some of which aired on MTV), and co-directed the award-winning short film on South Africa, "The Island". His books include The Racial State (2002); Racial Subjects: Writing on Race in America (1997); and EthicalTheory and Social Issues: Historical Texts and Contemporary Readings (1989/1995), and he has also edited or co-editedmany volumes, including A Companion to Gender Studies (2005); A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies (2002); Relocating Postcolonialism (2002); Multiculturalism: A CriticalReader (1994); Jewish Identity (1993); and Anatomy of Racism (1990). He currently serves as the Director of theUniversity of California Humanities Institute (UCHRI).

Bio taken, with edits, from David Theo Goldberg's bio on UCHRI's site


BIO: Richard Marciano received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Iowa in 1992. He currently directs the Sustainable Archives and Library Technologies (SALT) lab at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). An interdisciplinary lab, The SALT Lab is designed to develop information technology strategies in digital archiving. His work in computational environmental science includes an initiative to build a web-based interdisciplinary data archive for the San Diego River Watershed. His research interests include the preservation of digital archives, data and knowledge-based information integration, and historical topics in urban and regional development.

Richard Marciano, San Diego Supercomputer Center and David Theo Goldberg, UCHRI "Redlining California" Bio taken, with edits, from his bio on UCSD's Superfund Basic Research Program page


TALK: Richard Marciano and David Theo Goldberg presented the Testbed for the Redlining Archives of California's Exclusionary Spaces (T-RACES) project, an interdisciplinary effort to study the history of "redlining", the practice of refusing people insurance and loans based on the neighborhood in which they live, and its racial, and racist, implications. Based on archives previously unavailable to the public, now digitized, the project studies, and enables others to study, visual representations of historical segregation.


Jonathan Tarr's live-blog of the presentation

An article published in the annual SDSC Research Advances detailing the project


12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch


1:00 - 2:15 PM Keynote: Curtis Wong, Microsoft
"From Beethoven to Betelgeuse, 20 Years in the Quest for the Holy Grail of Interactive Storytelling"

Curtis Wong, Microsoft, "From Beethoven to Betelgeuse, 20 years in the quest for the Holy Grail of Interactive Storytelling"BIO: Curtis Wong is manager of the Microsoft Next MediaResearch Group, whose focus "spans the linear and interactive media spectrum from television, broadband, and gaming to emerging media forms." The author of more than 20 patents pending in such areas as interactive television, media browsing, visualization, design, and mobile computing, Wong was previously Director of Intel Productions. At Intel, he was responsible for creating next generation content such as the Virtual Van Gogh Museum Tour; ArtMuseum.net, one of the first Web-based,broadband art exhibition networks. Wong has also served as the General Manager and Executive Producer of Corbis Productions and as an interactive-documentary producer for the Criterion Collection. Wong's work in interactive media has won many design and industry awards, including New York Film Festival Gold Medals,the ID Magazine Annual Design Award of Excellence, and Communication Arts Interactive award of Excellence. His collaboration with WGBH Interactive on the broadband-enhanced documentary CommandingHeights-The Battle for the World Economy, won a 2002 Academy Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and was nominated for the first Interactive TV Emmy.

Bio taken, with edits, from here


TALK: Curtis Wong discussed the development of interactive narrative and education tools over the past two decades, exploring how the improvement in digital interfaces affected the development of these tools. He also presented the recently released WorldWide Telescope, an interactive map of outer space.


Patrick Jagoda's live-blog of the talk

Cathy Davidson's blog anticipating the talk, with a NY Times story about Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope.


2:15 - 4:00 PM Talks and Demos ran concurrently in several locations


Software Studies Panel: "What is Software Studies?"

Jeremy Douglass, UC San Diego

Peter Lunenfeld, Art Center College of Design

Lev Manovich, UC San Diego

Nick Montfort, MIT

Noah Wardrip-Fruin, UC San Diego

Nick Montfort Google searches and Amazon recommendations, airline flightpaths and traffic lights, email and your phone: our culture runs on software.How does software shape the world? Following the first US-based Software Studies WorkshopGoogle searches and Amazon recommendations, airline flightpaths and traffic lights, email and your phone: our culture runs on software.How does software shape the world? Following the first US-based Software Studies Workshop (May21-22, 2008 at CALIT2-San Diego), panel participants discussed what it means to study software cultures, the direction and goals of Software Studies as an emerging intellectual movement, and the intersections between Software Studies intersects and Digital Humanities.


Patrick Jagoda's live-blog of the panel



John Crawford, UC Irvine
"Dance-IT (Dance & Information Technology): A Networked Participatory Media Exhibit" (Repeat)


Byeong Sam Jeon, Electronic Artist
"Telematic Drum Circle" (Repeat)


HIPerWall Demo #2: "Viewfinder," presented by Erik Loyer, Digital Artist

Erik Loyer demonstrated "Viewfinder", a collaboration between USC's Interactive Media Division and the Institute for Creative Technologies which explores "how to seamlessly 'Flickrize' Google Earth." Under the direction of media artist Michael Naimark, the project team developed methods for users to quickly and easily situate their photographs as perfectly aligned overlays in a 3D-world model like Google Earth. By engaging a bit of human help, Viewfinder aims to make 3D geo-location of photos a straightforward, creatively driven activity. 
Erik Loyer's interactive artworks have been exhibited online and infestivals and museums throughout the United States and abroad, including the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Prix Ars Electronica; and Transmediale. His website "The Lair of the Marrow Monkey" was one of the first to be added to the permanent collection of a major art museum, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. As Creative Director for Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, an experimental online academic journal, Loyer has created numerous interactive essays in collaboration with leading humanities scholars including N. Katherine Hayles and David Theo Goldberg. He is the recipient of a Rockefeller Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship, and his works have been honored in the Webby Awards, the Montreal International Festival of New Cinema and New Media, and the California Design Biennial.


4:00 - 4:15 PM Coffee Break


4:15 - 6:00 PM Panel Discussion: "Trends in TechnoTravels/Telemobility"

Isaac Garcia, Central Desktop

Mizuko Ito, USC

Jennifer Serventi, NEH

Fred Stutzman, UNC-CH

In a panel moderated by HASTAC co-founder Cathy Davidson, these panelists discussed topics including the Obama campaign's use of the Internet, experiments tracking urban everyday use of modern technologies, opportunities at the NEH, and problems of closeness, curation, and imagined identity/privacy relating to social networks.


Jonathan Tarr's live-blog of the panel


6:30 - 9:00 PM Reception and Art Exhibition "LIVE"

Presented by the Beall Center for Art and Technology at UC Irvine, LIVE is an exhibit featuring nine artists who utilize data, photographs, and video in their works. In their sculptures and installations, they sample, transform, and layer the information or images to explore what it means to our understanding of geo-temporal reality to present an event "live".

A conference flyer describing the artists and their projects


Saturday, May 24


Narrator Norman Klein

9:00 - 11:00 AM Reading Southern California @ 65 mph Bus Tour


"Mobile tour of connecting corridors, populations hubs, and a few historical neighborhoods between Irvine and Los Angeles..."


Jonathan Tarr's blog and photos from the tour


Pogo-Phonic Sign11:00 - 11:30 AM Kickoff Event featuring Pogo-phonic


POGO-PHONIC | Gil Kuno featuring The Vurtego Pogo Team

Pogo-phonic is the rethinking of the pogo stick as an instrument in sound composition. The pogo stick triggers sound samples such that the pogo-ers also become the complicit composers of audio composition. Pogo sticks and pogo-ers courtesy of Vurtego Inc., makers of pneumatic pogo sticks.

Vurtego Inc., makers of pneumatic pogo sticks. Pogo-phonic at UCLA



Department of Design | Media Arts, University of California,Los Angeles

Through careful social conditioning, the mind is guided to think within certain patterns. Gil Kuno tries to redirect the flow of the mind outside of the set patterns we are taught by society to construct. Most of his works displace natural activity from its context, revealing an otherwise hidden level of metaphorical absurdity within the ordinary patterns present before our eyes. Much of his work revolves around the experience of sound. Gil Kuno is based in Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Visit his website


11:30 AM - 1:00 PM BBQ lunch and networking


12:00 - 1:00 PM Optional Visualization Portal Tour (sign-up required)


1:00 - 3:00 PM Project Demos, Poster Sessions, and Lightning Talks ran concurrently in several locations



Project Demos

Presenters provided descriptions of their projects, contained in the folder that conference participants received.


Competition Winners

Several winners of HASTAC's first Digital Media and Learning Competition,held in 2007-2008, presented their projects at the conference. This open Competition, supported by the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Initiative was designed to support and inspire innovation and networking.


Manual Arts High School; Center for New Media, University of California, Berkeley

Black Cloud is an environmental studies game that mixes the physical with the virtual to engage high school students in Los Angeles and Cairo, Egypt. Teams role-play as either real estate developers or environmentalists using actual air quality sensors hidden through the city to monitor neighborhood pollution. Their goal is to select good sites for either additional development or conservation. Combining scientific data with human experience, students collaborate, share, and analyze their findings, including working cross-culturally between cities.

Learn more


HYPERCITIES | Todd Presner
University of California, Los Angeles

Built out of and on top of real cities, "HyperCities" is a collaborative research and learning platform that augments the space and time of the physical world with the information web and renders the experience on the World Wide Web geographic and temporal. A HyperCity is a real city overlaid with is geo-temporal information, ranging from its architectural and urban history to family genealogies and the stories of the people and diverse communities who live and lived there. Our first HyperCities are Los Angeles, Berlin, Lima, and Rome. As a platform that reaches deeply into archival collections and aggregates content across the web, HyperCities not only transforms how information is produced, stored, retrieved, shared, repurposed, and experienced but also transforms how human beings interact with information and one another in space and time. By asking some of the most fundamental learning questions-Where are you from? What used to be here? What happened here in the past?-HyperCities allows users to excavate urban history, create a social network through time and space, and seamlessly interface between the past and the physical world of today.

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Institute for Multimedia Literacy, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

Critical Commons is a non-profit advocacy coalition that supports the fair use of media in educational contexts, providing resources, information and tools for scholars, students, students, and educators. We are committed to the belief that critical media scholarship and practice should no longer attempt to fly below the radar of copyright holders. Fears of litigation, which are all too common among media scholars and artists, often lead to uncertainty, self-censorship, and general impoverishment of cultural production and critical discourse. As digital media and networks continue to erode distinctions between producers and consumers of media, it is crucial to adopt a more nuanced understanding of the cultural imperatives that drive both copyright and fair use. Critical Commons seeks to establish a reasonable set of models, standards, and operating principles by which to promote rich and diverse forms of engagement with media culture in the digital age.

Learn more


More about all the winners and their projects can be found here



Other Presentations

SOPHIE | Bob Stein
School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

Sophie is software for writing and reading rich media documents in a networked environment. Sophie's goal is to open up the world of multimedia authoring to a wide range of people and institutions and in doing so redefine the notion of a book or "academic paper" to include both rich media and mechanisms for reader feedback and conversation in dynamic margins.

Learn more


Savannah College of Art and Design

OMFG my avatar needs a MySpace page!?!

There is a growing virtual live music scene within the larger scope of virtual entertainment. Experimenting with posthuman interactive narrative, my alter ego Spence Wilder, my avatar in the immersive online world of Second Life, has cultivated some celebrity status as a performer. I will be demonstrating the technology involved, as well as discussing some of the social, psychological, and economic aspects of such endeavors. A "posthuman puppet show", the project includes live music and storytelling, simulcasting into Second Life, and projecting the in-world experience back into the conference.

Learn more


UCLA Center for Research in Engineering, Media, and Performance (REMAP); Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science; UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television

Remapping LA explores the creation of Cultural Civic Computing systems for a dynamic, collective memory that is continually constructed from media gathered by its communities and then presented, performed, and navigated throughout the city. Remapping LA features a decentralized, participatory approach to technological development: In Cultural Civic Computing, communities power the processes of imagining, specifying, and designing technology infrastructure for public places. As a result, emerging technologies such as wireless mobile devices, sensing instruments, imaging tools, and databases, are re-envisioned by communities and researchers to enable public exploration of creativity, cultural identity, and our neighborhoods' diverse identities. Through experimentation in collaboration with communities and direct engagement with technology research programs, this project aims to increase participation in community investigation of Los Angeles, collective remembering, self-representation, and imagining and defining the future of the urban environment.

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VISIBLE PAST | Sorin Adam Matei
Purdue University

Visible Past proposes a learning and discovery environment that creates communities of learning based on common interest in events, narratives, and artifacts that are located in space and time. The environment, which is scalable and has been developed using open source software, can be accessed through a variety of interfaces (wiki sites, Google Earth, or WorldWind) and devices (desktop computers, mobile devices, or dedicated, full-immersion, 3D virtual reality CAVE-like spaces). Its non-proprietary code-base allows future generations of designers to improve and extend its capabilities.

Learn more



GEO-TEMPORAL ARGUMENTATION | Diane Favro and Chris Johanson
Experiential Technologies Center, University of California, Los Angeles

When the experience and creation of kinetic transitions are fundamental to an understanding of an argument, one must, quite simply, walk in the footsteps for the authors in order to participate in the debate, critique the result, and modify the conclusions. Through a new experiential digital publication in partnership with the Journal for the Society of Architectural Historians we marry a traditional, Web 2.0 narrative structure to a four-dimensional, Web 3.0 method of argumentation in order to use a reconstructed kinetic experience of the Roman Funeral procession as a means of reframing the debated surrounding the manipulation of symbolic capital in ancient Rome. We invite the reader/techno-traveler to explore the 4D argument in which the visual elements, the spatial layout, and the kinetic guideposts, not the textual narrative, represent the final academic publication.

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CAVIIAR, Inc.; Florida State University

This project will allow the cultural discovery of a city using real-time localized literary content and social networking. Localized adaptive digital narrative is a writing and reading form in which information is linked as a function of what the reader has read previously AND the location from where pieces are read. An adaptive literary piece reconfigures itself for the reader, leading every time to a potentially unique book; in other words,the media acts on the message. Adaptive books cannot be reproduced on paper except, perhaps, as a reading path at a given moment. Adaptivity is achieved by an artificial intelligence engine designed by CAVIIAR (Advanced Research Center in Artificial Intelligence) specifically for this purpose.

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Augmented Reality Lab, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University

"Travelling tales: a max/ar tag story" is an augmented reality travel narrative, collaboratively constructed across distance by two authors. This storytelling is enabled by a unique MAX/MSP/ar tag object developed this year by a cross-disciplinary team of students in the augmented reality lab at York University. Essentially, the power of robust, multiple, simultaneous fiducial recognition made possible by AR TAG has been made easy to work with through the addition of a unique MAS/MSP interface. The demo for HASTAC showcases both this unique authoring environment-a new kind of storymaking machine-and the hybrid fiction we've created, in which the physical and the digital are co-constitutive of meaning.

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University of California, Los Angeles

The UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology is an interactive, web-based research tool that provides accurate, up-to-date information onancient Egypt and Egyptology. By combining a traditional encyclopedia format with multi-media presentation and innovative search functions such as a time-map, the UEE allows its users to engage with, and dig into, Egyptology andarchaeology in a whole new way. The solitary reader becomes, with the time-map in hard, a virtual traveler through time and space making new, unexpected connections along the way and being more sensitive than ever before to the historical and local nature of our source materials. Changes of time and variation across regional borders are captured more effectively in a multimedia landscape than in the traditional format of a single written text. Ancient Egypt turns from a monolithic entity, taking up a well-defined, exclusive and limited space in our historical conscience and teaching programs, into a dynamic object of research that exists by virtue of interaction between time periods and regions-but also between disciplines and participants. The disciplinary borders of academia are challenged by reconfiguring the organization of source materials and incorporating new tools of inquiry, which opens the way to innovative methodologies and new, unforeseen insights.

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The Urban Simulation Team; School of the Arts and Architecture, University of California, Los Angeles

Real-time visual simulation technology has the potential to radically alter our understanding of historic urban environments. Unlike fixed computer animations, real-time technology allows interactive exploration of the modeled site, thereby creating unprecedented opportunities for experiential interpretation and innovative pedagogy. The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 is a perfect test case for the educational applications of this remarkable technology. The exposition was a milestone for American architecture and urban planning. As Director of Works, Daniel Burnham coordinated a team of the most notable architects in the country, each designing one of the fair's major buildings. As a group, these architects created a classical city that would have lasting repercussions on American design ideals and spark the American Renaissance and City Beautiful movements. Our understanding of this important complex has heretofore been based solely on static images and written descriptions. This is no longer the case. Real-time visual simulation technology allows us to reclaim the lost experience of navigating through the White City. Just as in 1893, the completed model will allow users to stroll along the virtual Court of Honor, tour the Wooded Island, and marvel and the fair's classical structures from a gondola.

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University of California, Davis

"Precision Targets" explores the links between contemporary consumer culture and militarization in the U.S. through the example of theglobal positioning system (GPS). By the end of the 1st Gulf War, when "smart bombs" and other GPS-enhanced applications were celebrated as the ultimate in precision weaponry by the U.S. military, the technology was already moving into civilian goods and services. Our piece explores the mystique of precision through six story-lines to demonstrate the implicit militarization ofconsumers as they encounter the possibilities and constraints of using GPS satellite navigation in everyday life in the U.S. The stories are read through a series of comic-style panels in a cube. By rotating the cube, the user can "travel" through and across the narratives, accessing brief commentaries attached to each panel which can be expanded to reveal more extended analyses.

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Poster Talks

Presenters provided descriptions of their projects, contained in the folder that conference participants received.


University of California, Los Angeles

Hijoo Son is a doctoral candidate in modern Korean history and culture at UCLA. Her dissertation, titled "Casting Diaspora: Cultural Production and Identity Construction" is a cultural history of diasporic art from the largest and oldest overseas Korean communities, and the study focuses specifically upon artists who particiapated in controversial exhibitions including the 2002 Kwangju Biennial's There: Sites of the Korean Diaspora. The analysis of artists, artwork, reception, exchange, and discourse from the exhibition probes tensions at a "mesolevel". That is, the examination of forced and voluntary migrations are facilitated by the mesolevels of social networks, family circuits, and cultural codes that aided migrants in adjusting to and associating with all that is new. The exhibition space also functions at a mesolevel, emphasizing the transnational contours of their movements as artists who traveled back to South Korea and other metropolitan centers in order to showcase their artwork within an international framework. Finally, the visualization of the artwork in a web interface from There also highlights a mesolevel on a virtual level. These exhibitions showcased artists who come from places such as Almaty, Sao Paolo, Yanji, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and others. That the host countries where artists reside are so far-flung is one compelling reason to produce a web interface. The rapid access to underlying assets in a digital database, coupled with the ability to navigate the heterogeneous corpus along multiple routes is a powerful tool for knowledge, discovery, and analysis.

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Duke University

Can the Internet connect people who are geographically close but separated by other forms of distance? The project, Windows on Last Miles, aims to investigate and perhaps bridge (if only momentarily) distances other than the geographical. The installation consists of two movable computer displays ("windows") that connect two nearby public spaces in real time. These two sites, selected from pairs of public spaces only a few miles apart, are separate in other ways. They become connected, visibly and aurally, via the two "windows" which relay the feeds from two adjacent webcams. The perspectives of the webcams are controlled interactively by the visitors. One example of spaces that would be connected would be Duke University's Main Library and the Durham City Library. We employ a variety of strategies to qualify and quantify the way in which the users of these installations interact, with the hope of exploring (through interactive art!) the "connectedness" of visitors.

Techno-InteractionsLearn more


Technology Resource Center, Wayne State University

Digital Partnerships for Engaged Learning is a portfolio of projects managed by Wayne State University's Technology Resource Center. Partnerships foster purposeful integration of digital media in teaching and learning by mobilizing "techno-travel" across boundaries of disciplines, professions, and the community, producing new collaborative relationships and interdisciplinary spaces for humanistic inquiry. Digital Media Learning Community is developing promising technologies for teaching and learning. Recent activities focused on Second Life and other new communication technologies for citizenship and civic engagement. The WSU-HASTAC Digital Humanities Collaboratory is building common f2f and web space for dispersed innovations across campus. Digital Learning and Development Sandbox (DLDS) is building a digital workspace housing images from the Virtual Motor City and Digital Dress repositories, templates for authoring integrated learning objects, and a teaching and learning archive. Art History Luna Project uses LUNA insight software to digitize art slide collections while adding innovative approaches to searchability and metatdata.

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University of California, Los Angeles

The personal audio player has become ubiquitous, and is now attached to the hips, pockets, and hearts of hundreds of millions of users. Users exchange digital audio content with each other socially, sharing theird igital audio players in a mostly ad hoc manner. New digital audio players like the Microsoft Zune allow users to share music wirelessly with others, but have proven troublesome to connect and configure in practice. The Smart Party represents the next generation in social media sharing: it allows user devices to interact seamlessly and transparently in physical locations. At the SmartParty, users bring their media preferences and library on their portabledevice. Their devices automatically detect, and are configured for, their environment, and interact to select the media that will play in the various rooms in which the party is situated. Per-room play lists are dynamically generated based on the current user population.

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Mark Marino, The L.A. Flood ProjectTHE LA FLOOD PROJECT | Mark C. Marino
University of Southern California

A flood has hit Los Angeles. It is spilling deeper across streets, yards, roads; a disaster is unfolding across the city and voices are being heard on cell phones from the epicenter and beyond. The LA Flood Project is a Rashomon-style multi-POV locative narrative experience that unfolds across LA, spilling over our cast of characters and the participants who join the flood through their cell phones. The Flood dredges to the surface the unspoken laws and logic of the city. It reveals hidden boundaries even as it spills over them. To engage the Flood, Angelenos will call in to hear the latest developments in the flood from their locations. HASTAC attendees may experience a demo of the narrative at the project's poster display.

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R U ST&ING 2 CLOSE 2 ME? | Ana Boa-Ventura
University of Texas, Austin

Do Portuguese write 'nmjc'* when relaxing in Second Life? Do Spanish SL residents stand physically closer than North Americans? Are French SL sims different than the German ones? May those differences lie in cultural aspects other than national origin? You may have wondered whether cultural markers that we take as ‘normal' when communicating across cultures are downplayed or, rather, exacerbated inprofoundly visual environments such as SL or Croquet. Vis-à-vis an international audience, the space associated with a given nation may be an aberration-a caricature of the stereotype that nation is to ‘others'; or it may become an amorphous global space. We propose a visit to national sims to examine designed spaces, as well as non-verbal and verbal communication. We also recommend a second look at emerging tracking tools to evaluate interpersonal distance in SL, which until now have been the province of the corporate world.

*nothing much, just chilling

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University of California, Irvine

Our cities and rural geographies are described by an abundance of databases that attempt to record and characterize the nature ofhuman activity according to geographic location. These date are often construed as descriptive, but when used and crafted by organizations and institutions to carry out planning or marketing objectives, they are also regulatory of the spaces they describe. Yet most individuals have no access to or awareness of the way their neighborhood might be profiled in a consumer marketing or a homeland security database. Datascape enables a hybrid environment whereby participants use geographic data to author dynamic narratives that compose a digital world. A vehicle-mounted digital periscope engenders action between passengers and visual and sonic landscape that unfolds and emerges based on conversations between people, data, and dynamic representational entities that compose the landscape. By allowing people to view and interact with information descriptive of the location in which it is encountered, Datasape enables public awareness and engagement with the hybrid digital/physical spaces we traverse and inhabit in our daily lives.

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Lightning Talks in the CALIT2 AuditoriumLightning Talks

Presenters provided descriptions of their talks, contained in the folder that conference participants received.


University of California, San Diego

The Global Middle Ages Project (G-MAP) is an ambitious initiative to teach university communities and the general public to see what an interconnected world looks like in deep time: a thousand years of culture, history, technology, ideas, and civilization, from about 500 to 1500 CE. From Europe in the West to China in the East, across Islamic civilization and Africa, Eurasia and India, we show how the world lived and functioned as a network of interwoven spaces, linked into relationship by trade and travel, social organization, global cities, borrowings of culture, and even organized conflict. MAPPAMUNDI is the name we give to the dynamic online presence of G-MAP's laboratories, multi-media events, and archive of cultural and learning resources. Because MAPPAMUNDI can be a digital classroom, laboratory, museum, archive, and meeting-place all at once, it can constitute aunique multi-dimensional learning environment, and perform as a dynamic cultural treasure-house that reaches audiences in every corner of the world.

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University of California, Santa Cruz

We are working on creating a multi-lingual, multi-media, user-generated website for the transnational, collaborative study of memories of WWII in the Pacific (the "Asia-Pacific Wars" to some). Combining functions of Wikipedia, Flickr, and community networking sites, our site will enable researchers, students, activists, and the general public to share resources and communicate within and across language boundaries. The core organizational principle will be a multi-lingual folksonomy by which users provide tags to uploaded materials in multiple languages and other users add and refine tags to create the infrastructure for interlinking between and among materials arising in different socio-linguistic contexts. Communities of interest forming around topics and materials will be linked to a variety of translation techniques,both machine and human, to enable real world conversation. QTVRs of memory sites, such as the Hiroshima Peace Park, densely annotated with multi-media information, will serve as the entry points to what we hope will become a rich, closely interlinked archive. Harnessing the computational power of the HASS grid from our grid block on UCSC, we can imagine a future development of the site in which the construction of virtual memory spaces will enhance the community's research.


Duke University

In his 1984 cyberpunk novel Neuromancer, William Gibson famously coined the neologism "cyberspace" to describe the emerging landscape. Despite the prescience of this spatial metaphor in capturing a world infused by ceaseless connections and synthetic worlds, it has proven a lacking representation of the topography of contemporary networks. Instead of focusing on the shortcomings of early cyberpunk literature, this talk turns to Gibosn's more recent novels-including the present-day cyber-adventure Spook Country (2007)-to explore the way the 21st century techno-fiction approaches the relationship between space and networks. My analysis focuses on Gibson's interest in the phenomena of locative art and geohacking. Shifting from the earlier representation of the oppositional hacker, the figure of the geohacker points to a technological being that is perpetually mobile, completely embodied, and based in physical space. In my reading of Gibson's metaphors, I further suggest that the geohacker enables the production for what I call spatial specters. In conclusion the paper contends that shift in Gibson's technoscientific imaginary marks a more complex thinking that abandons a static understanding of the spatial configuration of data. Instead, it initiates an exploration of the political consequences of the informational mobility, the social implications of geo-spatial technologies that interact with non-digital environments, and the effects of the network temporality that accompanies a new understanding of space. Finally, I contend that even as we experience an increased proliferation of new media forms, literary narrative continues to serve an important part in analyzing the affective wonder and cultural complexity of emerging technologies.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

My new year's poem for 2008 was a computer program, a very short Perl program that generates poems without recourse to any external dictionary, word list, or other data file. I call it ppg256: "ppg" because it's a Perl poetry generator and "256″ for the length of the program in characters. It was an attempt to drive process intensity up, keep program size down, and uncover what the essential elements of a poetry generator are. I found the process of developing this program very useful for my own thinking about computation and language. Here is the complete program that resulted:


perl -le'subw{substr("cococacamamadebapabohamolaburatamihopodito",


2*int(rand 25),2)}{$l=rand9;print "\n\nthe ".w."\n";{print w."".substr("atonof",rand 5,2)." ".w;redo if$l-->0;}redo;}'

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3:00 - 3:30 PM BREAK


3:30 - 5:00 PM 'Future of Learning' Plenary Session

Anne Balsamo, USC

Anna Everett, UCSB

N. Katherine Hayles, UCLA

Ramesh Srinivasan, UCLA


Featured Participants' Bios

Participants provided their bios, which were included in the folder that conference participants received.

Anne Balsamo | Professor and Associate Chair, Interactive Media Division

University of Southern California

Anne Balsamo's work focuses on the relationship between culture and technology. This focus informs her practice as a scholar, resesarcher, new media designer, and entrepreneur. She is currently a Professor of Interactive Media in the School of Cinematic Arts, and of Communications in the Annenberg School of Communications. From 2004-2007, she served as the Director of the Institute for Multimedia Literacy. In 2002,she co-founded Onomy Labs, Inc., a Silicon Valley technology design and fabrication company that builds cultural technologies. Previously she was a member of RED (Research on Experimental Documents), a collaborative research group at Xerox Parc who created experimental reading devices and new media genres. She served as project manager and new media designer for the development of RED's interactive museum exhibit, "XFR: Experiments in the Future of Reading". Her first book, Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women (1996) investigated the social and cultural implications of emergent bio-technologies. Her new book project, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work (Duke UP, forthcoming) examines the relationship between cultural reproduction and technological innovation.


Anna Everett | Professor and Chair of Film and Media Studies

University of California, Santa Barbara

Anna Everett works in the fields of film and TV history/theory, African American film and culture, and Digital Media Technologies. She is the author of Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949 (2001) and is currently at work on books titled Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace and Inside the Dark Museum: An Anthology of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1959. Recent articles include: "The Revolution will be Digitized: Afrocentricity and the Digital Public Sphere" (Social Text, Summer2002). "The Black Press in the Age of Digital Reproduction" (The Black Press,2001), "‘I Want the Same Things Other People Enjoy': The Black Press and theClassic Hollywood Studio System" (Spectator, 1997), and "The Other Pleasures: The Narrative Function of Race in Cinema" (Film Criticism, 1995-96). She is founder and managing editor of the Internet newsletter, Screening Noir Online, and she co-organized the conference titled "Race in Digital Space 2.0".Everett is the recent winner of the prestigious UCSB Plous Award, the top recognition for younger faculty at UCSB.


N. Katherine Hayles | Professor, English and Design|MediaArts

University of California, Los Angeles

N. Katherine Hayles is the John Charles Hillis Professor ofLiterature at the English Department and Distinguished Professor of the Departments of English and Design|Media Arts at UCLA, where she teachers and writes of the relations of literature, science, and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her work has been recognized by numerous awards, fellowships, and prizes, including a Guggenheim, a Rockefeller Residential Fellowship at Bellagio, two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, and a fellowship at the National Center for the Humanities. For the past decade, she has been fascinated by the future of the human in the Regime of Computation, especially how writing technologies and reading strategies are changing in the digital age. Her book How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics, which won the René Welleck Prize for the Best Book in Literary Theory for 1998-99, traced the history of cybernetics from the post-WWII period to the present, arguing for an embodied view of information. Writing Machines, which won the Susanne Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2002, argued for media specific analysis as print and electronic texts engage in robust dialogues and intermediations. Her more recent book, My Mother was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts (2006), which was recently selected as book of the month by the Resource Center for Cybercultural Studies, expands a theoretical framework for the concept of intermediation that emphasizes recursive feedback loops between intelligent machines and humans. Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary explores the changing role of the literary in the digital age. Along with the associated website, it is designed to help electronic literature move into the classroom.


Ramesh Srinivasan | Assistant Professor, Department of Information Studies and Design|Media Arts

University of California, Los Angeles

Ramesh Srinivasan is Assistant Professor of Information Studies with a courtesy appointment in Design|Media Arts. Srinivasan, who holds M.S. and Doctoral degrees from the MIT Media Laboratory and Harvard's Design School, respectively, has focused his research globally on the development of information systems within the context of culturally-differentiated communities. He is interested in how an informations ystem can function as a cultural artifact, as a repository of knowledge that is commensurable with the ontologies of a community. As a complement, he is also interested in how an information system can engage and re-question thenotion of diaspora and how ethnicity and culture function across distance. This research allows one to uncover mechanisms by which indigenously-articulated forms of development can begin to occur, as relating to his current work in pastoral and tribal communities in Southern India. His research therefore involves engaging communities to serve as the designers, authors, and librarian/archivists of their own information systems. His research has spanned such bounds as Native Americans, Somali Refugees, Indian Villages, Aborginal Australia, and Maori New Zealand.


5:00 - 6:30 PM Reception


For all blog posts about HASTAC II on the HASTAC site, go here.


Check back soon to see webcasts of the conference talks and presentations!






Photos thanks to Brett Walters, Anne Helmond (also see: her website), and Cathy Davidson, courtesy of Flickr™.